for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, idyllic beaches,
crystal-clear turquoise seas, and tasty Turkish cuisine, Türkiye is expected to
make even more strides in tourism in the days ahead thanks to its commitment to
international tourism arrivals shot up over the last two years, with the
lifting or easing of COVID-related travel restrictions around the world. The
country welcomed 49.2 million foreign tourists in 2023, beating its pre-virus
level by 9.3%, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
exclusively to Anadolu, Zurab Pololikashvili, the secretary-general of UN
Tourism, the UN agency which promotes responsible, sustainable, and universally
accessible tourism, stressed: "We expect Türkiye tourism to continue to go
from strength-to-strength this year and for years to come."
growing in size, the Turkish tourism sector is growing more and more diverse,
with many visitors coming for the country’s culture, cuisine, health services,
faith-based sites, sea, rural tourism, and more, Pololikashvili explained.
committed shift to diversification is to be commented on as it will not only
build resilience against future shocks but also ensures that the benefits
tourism brings, including jobs and economic growth, are spread more widely
across Türkiye, including in rural areas," he added.
UN Tourism data, he stressed that Türkiye ranked sixth in international tourism
arrivals in 2019 and fourth in 2021, showing a clear upward trend.
Simpson, head of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), underlined that
Türkiye’s travel and tourism sector has fully recovered across the four key
metrics: economic contribution, jobs, and domestic visitor and international
2033, the council “is forecasting that the sector will grow its GDP
contribution to almost 2.2 trillion liras (nearly $73 billion) and employ over
3.3 million people across the country," Simpson noted.
to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), Türkiye's tourism income in
2023 surged 16.9% year-on-year to total $54.3 billion.
Baglikaya, head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB),
underlined that in a hopeful sign for Turkish tourism, overseas demand for
early bookings for 2024 is remaining high.
on geopolitical tensions, Baglikaya said the revival in demand in the
post-pandemic period due to pent-up longing for holiday and travel has helped
curb the impact of regional tensions.
Wednesday, Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said Türkiye posted the
best performance ever in tourism last year.
government's medium-term economic program seeks to generate $59.6 billion in
tourism income and to attract 59.6 million visitors, including Turkish citizens
goal for 2028 is to reach tourism income of $100 billion with 82.3 million
visitors," Simsek said.
reiterated that the rapid and remarkable bounce back from the pandemic is
expected to continue this year, to return to its pre-virus levels.
to our data, international tourist arrivals hit 88% of pre-pandemic, or 2019,
levels at the end of 2023. Now this momentum will continue throughout the year
and we should see 100% recovery globally," he added.
to the latest World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals reached
1.3 billion last year.
more, several destinations and sub-regions are already welcoming more tourists
than they did before the pandemic, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as
Central America, Southern Mediterranean Europe, and the Caribbean," he
said tourism will be supported by a strong travel demand this year despite a
surging cost of living.
inflation, people are keen to travel and are prioritizing holidays over other
spending. This shows the resilience and determination of travelers, businesses,
and governments," she commented.
pointed to the resilience of the travel and tourism sector amid both
geopolitical challenges and natural disasters.
Credit: © AA
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